Tag Archives: greg nickels

Nickelsville moves to 4th & James – Unused city land “perfect” for Seattle homeless camp

Nickelsville - Tent city finds a home
Nickelsville - Tent city finds a home

After years of being hustled from site to site in an almost endless game of musical chairs, Nickelsville, the Seattle encampment for the homeless, thinks it has finally found a long-term home.

The city of pink tents, named in honor of Mayor Greg Nickels, has relocated to downtown Seattle only a stone’s throw from the Columbia Center, the Rainier Club, and other prestigious addresses.

It is an overgrown parcel on the roof of unused municipal property. Nickelsville leader Ernie Frandle said a check of public records revealed it is called City Hall.

Standing in midtown Nickelsville this morning, Frandle called it a perfect site for homeless people.

“From our perspective, absolutely nothing is happening at City Hall, no activity at all. So we should be able to stay for a long time,” Frandle said, as reporters dodged tumbleweeds.

A resident who gave her name as Clara is happy with the new digs, saying, “from here we’ll be able to look down on people for a change.”

One floor down, Mayor Nickels said he is happy to host the camp until after the November election. “The camp won’t get in the way of anything I’m doing, since I get most of my work done over at Paul Allen’s office and the Downtown Seattle Association.”

However said the mayor, Nickelsville should find another location after he begins his third term.

“Because being homeless means having to stay on the move, right? A permanent address would kind of defeat the purpose,” Nickels said.

[Google Images: Seattle’s green city hall]

Mayor Nickels cuts pork – Rachel The Pig victim of Seattle budget cuts

Rachel and fans - In happier times
Rachel and fans - In happier times

Saying the economic downturn requires tough choices, Seattle mayor Greg Nickels said Pike Place Market municipal ambassador Rachel The Pig would be laid off as part of an effort to cut fat from the city budget. Rachel’s layoff, one of 30, was effective April 19.

“Unfortunately, a projected $24 million falloff in real estate tax collections means the city cannot afford to carry needless pork in the budget,” Nickels explained

“Therefore we have no choice but to cut Rachel’s position, as well as one-week closures of Seattle Public Libraries — which carry DVDs of “Babe” and the book Charlotte’s Web,” he said.

Nickels said that while he regrets the budget cuts, the reductions guarantee full funding for the #1 issue facing Seattle: purchasing a stockpile of road salt for next winter. “I wish we could keep everything, but Seattle doesn’t have a salt pork program. Although that would be delicious,” said the mayor.

Nickelseattlesgreenmayor - Gets seismic upgrade
Nickelseattlesgreenmayor - No seismic upgrade

Nickels said he is making sacrifices too. “I am postponing $1.4 million in planned seismic upgrades to my Herman Miller office chair,” Nickels said.

Saddened supporters of Rachel gathered today at the now empty spot under the Pike Place Market clock, where Rachel posed for tourist photos for 22 years, and served as a rendezvous point for couples meeting through Seattle Weekly personals ads. Rachel fan Sven Ballard said the bronze pig will be missed, but preferred to think of her departure as a much-deserved retirement.

“Rachel worked so hard for so long. The mayor’s staff has assured us Rachel is now living on a farm somewhere near Stanwood. There she can enjoy the clean country air, has lots of room to run, and is able to play with other pig sculptures,” Ballard said.

No iNews this week
Legislature averts disaster – Almost forgot to f@#k education